TV Recap: S01E01 – American Ninja Warrior Junior Kids 2018

American Ninja Warrior JR Kids Season 1 2018 Episode 1

American Ninja Warrior premiered its junior edition Saturday night on Universal Kids.

Here’s a breakdown of the format:

-Ninjas will compete in three divisions: 9-10 years old, 11-12 years old, and 13-14 years old. They will compete in head to head races.

The qualifying rounds feature four ninjas per division. They will start in a seeding round, with the two fastest ninjas from that round taking on the two slowest ninjas in the knockout round.

The winners of the two knockout rounds move on to the final showdown, where the winner will move on to the semifinals.

-The winner of each division at the end of the season receives a $15,000 prize.

Also, Laurie Hernandez will be joining Matt and Akbar as co-host this season.

9-10 Year Old Division (Ninja Mentor: Barclay Stockett)

The course: Sonic Swing, Tic Toc, I-Beam, Floating Tiles, Spin Cycle, 13 Foot Warped Wall (with two hand holds)

Roberto Garemore vs. Hunter Rowland

Roberto grew up in an orphanage in Guinea-Bissau in West Africa. An American family adopted two of Roberto’s friends. But on the plane ride to America, Jesualdo (one of Roberto’s friends) begged his new parents to go back and adopt Roberto as well. Two years later, the Garemore’s did just that.

Hunter took a small lead on Tic Toc.

The lead seemed to grow on I-beam, with Hunter’s upper body strength a key.

But she struggled with the landing, allowing Roberto to pass her.

The same thing happened on Spin Cycle, with Hunter gaining ground but losing it after Roberto made a better dismount.

In fact, Hunter nearly lost herself on the Spin Cycle, but she held on with one arm and completed course.

But Roberto hit the buzzer the first.

Jacob Goldman vs Lindsey Zimmerman

Jacob describes his passions as “doing jumpy stuff” on his dad’s homemade course (and by “homemade” we really mean homemade).

Jacob ran out to a big lead early. The lead only grew after Floating Tiles.

But Lindsey made a huge comeback on Spin Cycle and nearly ran Jacob down from behind.

But Lindsey’s comeback came up short as Jacob hit the buzzer first.

During the break…

Jacob beat Hunter on the first knockout race.

Knockout Race: Roberto Garemore vs Lindsey Zimmerman

Lindsey has parents who’ve both competed on ninja courses. And she completed her course two seconds faster than Roberto in the seeding round.

The two were even going into I-beam.

Roberto took a small lead after Lindsey’s foot got wet on the landing at I-beam.

But Roberto stumbled on Floating Tiles, and Lindsey caught up.

She took a brief lead after Spin Cycle, but her wet foot made it tougher for her to climb the Warped Wall.

Roberto climbed to the top of the wall first and hit the buzzer, advancing to face Jacob next.

11-12 Year old Division (Mentor: Najee Richardson)

The course: Sonic Swing, Tic Toc, Ring Toss, Floating Tiles, Fly Wheels, 13 foot Warped Wall (one hand hold)

Riley Porter vs Caleb Buttner

Caleb opened up fast, but Riley passed him on Tic Toc.

The two were neck and neck going into the Fly Wheels, but Caleb passed her there and looked like he would run away with the competition.

But he slipped on his first attempt at the Warped Wall. Caleb did make it up the second time and hit the buzzer just before Riley did.

Jaysen Burnison vs Ella McRitchie

Ella has been a rock climber since she was six years old and has medaled in numerous competitions.

Ella also has 10 inch height advantage over Jaysen.

Ella’s long strides gave her the early lead.

That lead grew on the Ring Swing.

And the 11-12 year old division may have a front runner after Ella hit the buzzer with a great time.

Knockout Round: Caleb Buttner vs Jaysen Burnison

Jaysen wears gloves to bed at night to keep the cream on his hands that sooth the pain from his blisters.

Caleb had the early lead, but he fell on Tic Toc, allowing Jaysen to pass him.

Caleb stayed alive, but Jaysen’s lead only grew.

Caleb almost caught up, but his wet shoes cost him on the Warped Wall.

Jaysen made it up the Warped Wall this time (he missed last race) and advanced.

During the break…

Ella McRitchie beat Riley Porter in a knockout race, setting up a rematch with Jaysen.

13-14 year old Division (Mentor: Kevin Bull):

The course: Archer Steps, Tic Toc Devil Steps, Flying Shelf Grab, 13 foot Warped Wall (no hand holds)

Carson Brown vs Hudson Humphries

Hudson volunteers at a camp for kids with special needs.

Hudson gained the early lead.

That lead only grew as Hudson flew through Shelf Grab.

Could Hudson be a front runner in the 13-14 year old division? He sure looked the part as he led from start to finish and hit the buzzer.

Courtney Schumacher vs Michael Vasilevich

These two are best friends. And Michael is a stage performer who thanks American Ninja Warrior for helping him deal with panic attacks.

Courtney raced out to the early lead.

Courtney maintained her lead on Devil Steps.

But Michael caught up and passed her on Flying Shelf Grab, hitting the buzzer first.

During the break…

Hudson beat Courtney in the first knockout race.

Michael Vasilevich vs Carson Brown

Carson is the “Fix-It” ninja who races go carts and can fix anything. He also builds ninja obstacles.

Michael stumbled a little after Archer Steps, but his long strides allowed him to recover and take the lead going into Devil Steps.

But Carson looked to have a small lead until Floating Tiles, where Michael’s 5’9 frame allowed him to take the lead, this time for good.

Michael hit the buzzer and advanced to face Hudson.

9-10 year old Final Race: Jacob Goldman vs Roberto Garemore

Let’s see who moves on to the semifinals in the 9-10 year old division.

Jacob took an early lead going into I-beam.

Jacob’s lead grew, but Roberto caught up to him going into Spin Cycle.

But it wouldn’t be enough as Jacob hit the buzzer first and moved on to the semifinals.

11-12 year old Final Race: Ella McRitchie vs Jaysen Burnison

It’s a rematch from the seeding rounds.

And Ella made it look like the first one, winning easily and moving on to the semifinals.

13-14 year old Final Race: Hudson Humphries vs Michael Vasilevich

This should be a good one.

Michael got stuck on Tic Toc, allowing Hudson to build an early lead.

Rushing to catch up, Michael fell all the way into the water on Devil Steps.

Hudson hit the buzzer and advanced to the semifinals.

Your Semifinalists:

9-10 year old division: Jacob Goldman

11-12 year old division: Ella McRitchie

13-14 year old division: Hudson Humphries


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